Dec. 8, 2011
For immediate release
For more information, contact:
Bonnie Prigge (573) 265-2993
Roadway fatalities increasing in Meramec Region
Fifty-one lives lost in eight counties
While the roadway fatality rate is consistently declining statewide, that number is increasing in the Meramec Region.
Fifty-one people have lost their lives on roadways in the Meramec Region’s counties of Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington from Jan. 1 to Dec. 3. That’s a 42 percent increase compared to the same time period in 2010 with a total of 36 fatalities for the region. Every Meramec county has been impacted by a fatality.
Of those 51 fatalities this year at least eight – some 16 percent – involved drinking and driving. One fatality was recorded as unknown for drinking.
Also, within the 51 fatalities recorded, 30 persons – nearly 60 percent – were not wearing seat belts, and two were ejected. Seven fatalities were recorded as unknown for wearing safety devices.
The statewide year-to-date fatality totals as of Dec. 3 were 710. Last year’s totals from Jan. 1, 2010 to Dec. 3, 2010 were 759. This is a seven percent decrease statewide.
The Meramec Region counties are located within MoDOT’s 18-county Central District. The year-to-date fatality rate for the Central District as of Dec. 3 was 104. For Dec. 3, 2010 the year-to-date fatality rate for the district was 89. This is a 17 percent increase for the district.
The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) continually works to reduce the fatality number on Missouri roadways. MoDOT funds law enforcement grants, awareness and education programs and offers a host of incentives that help encourage seatbelt usage and discourage distracted driving and drunk driving, including posters, T-shirts, key chains, cups, pencils and much more.
“MoDOT has a multitude of resources available to encourage the use of seat belts as well as discourage drinking and driving and texting and distracted driving. Speakers are available for civic groups and school assemblies. The rollover demonstrator and seat belt convincer help reinforce the message and also work well at school carnivals and community events,” said MRPC Executive Director Bonnie Prigge.
Overall, the state has showed a consistent decrease in roadway fatalities over the past six years.
The 2010 year-end-total for fatalities was 821. For 2009, the year-end-total was 878 and for 2008 the year-end-total was 960
The 2007 year-end-total was 992, the 2006 year-end-total was 1,096, and the 2005 year-end-total was 1,257.
Meramec Regional Planning Commission is in the process of forming a subcommittee of the Central District Coalition for Roadway Safety to look at ways to create a greater awareness.
Law enforcement, emergency medical service, schools, fire departments, hospitals, health departments and concerned citizens are encouraged to become involved.
For more information contact Kathleen Nahm or Bonnie Prigge at MRPC, 573 265-2993 or email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phaedra Marriott-Olsen, with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), presented to students at Bland Middle School on Oct. 26. A drunk driver struck Marriott-Olsen’s vehicle on May 11, 1996. The accident hospitalized her for 124 days. After sustaining a coma and multiple serious injuries, she was unable to walk. Today, Marriott-Olsen visits schools throughout the region to share her story, encourage seat belt usage, safe driving and good decision-making. She is also a member of MoDOT’s Central District Coalition for Roadway Safety.